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Barclay James  Harvest - Caught In The Light CD (album) cover

CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

2.56 | 62 ratings

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alextorres2
3 stars This, the penultimate studio album of BJH's career (their 16th!) is one of their least pleasing. It comes from their late period when the song writing styles of John Lees and Les Holroyd had polarised to the extent that there was virtually no communication between the two of them leading to a disjointed feel about the album as a whole.

The difficulty between the two song writers was compounded for this album by the fact that John's father had died recently, leaving John feeling depressed. It shows in his songs on this album in what must surely be his most lacklustre performance for BJH, with only "Back to Earth", written as an eulogy to his father, standing the test of time. It is a beautiful song, unfortunately not matched by his other efforts on here that, even if they are basically decent songs, fall victim to some bad choices in the arrangements.

The album as a whole feels very sluggish, the tempo is low even by BJH standards. The one song that raises the pace slightly, John's "Spud-u-Like", falls prey to the malaise that affected him on here.

What saves the album from total disaster are some excellent ballads from Les Holroyd's pen: "Copii Romanii", about the plight of Romanian orphans, is a poignant, beautiful song with a haunting melody superbly sung by him and "Cold War", "The Great Unknown" and "Silver Wings" all do more than justice to the BJH name.

Overall, though, this one's for committed BJH fans only - if you are looking to hear something from the band then you'd be better off trying virtually anywhere else - say "Once Again" (early period) , "Time Honoured Ghosts" (middle period) or "Welcome to the Show" (late period).

alextorres2 | 3/5 |

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